You’ve moved before, right? We’ve probably all moved from our parents’ house to college or out on our own…from our dorm to an apartment or other college housing. Most of us have even moved into our first adult apartment or home! There is so much excitement and fun about moving! The start of something new and the sweetness of closing up the old memories…
No matter how many times I’ve moved up until this point, nothing prepared me for moving as a mom of three kids. Nothing. Not a single thing.
First off, how can three humans, three of whom are under the age of five, own so much stuff? I don’t understand.
These past few months of prepping to move, house hunting, house selling, packing, moving, and unpacking, have left me exhausted. But they have also left me equipped to make sure I prepare everyone else for their very own “Moving as a Mom” adventure! Here are a few things I’ve learned as the conductor of this moving train.
MOVING AS A MOM
- If you are even considering moving in the foreseeable future, start purging now. Right now. Stop what you are doing and start purging. Well, you can finish reading this, but then start! But really, if you have not touched something in the last six months (minus holiday decor) chances are you are not going to. This was my rule of thumb: If we hadn’t used it and I honestly couldn’t see how we would, I got rid of it. There are so many wonderful organizations around here that will accept donations, many of them can even schedule a pick up. I know it’s one more step, but before you toss something check and see if it can be helpful for someone else. Another option is listing items for sale on social media.
- Start saving and collecting boxes. Ask on your neighborhood Facebook page if anyone has any for free. We were so lucky to get moving boxes as well as every Amazon box imaginable from our old neighbors. I actually think we did them a favor because they didn’t have to break them down and recycle them.
- This next one may be trickier and not always doable. If you can, pick a spot in your house and clear it out. This will be your packed box area. This may be an unused dining room or the garage. To be honest, this was huge for us. I started packing boxes of the off-season clothes, half of our dishes, shoes we didn’t need…anything that I could justify packing, I packed it. It made the process of packing so much less daunting and overwhelming.
- Take things off the wall. This was hard, because it makes your once cozy and smiley- faced-filled walls feel bare and empty. But taking things down and taking out nails really was a time saver as well.
- As soon as we really started thinking about starting the house hunting process, I started trying to do something everyday. Pack a box, take down some pictures, clean out a closet. No matter how small it may seem, it was one less thing we were scrambling to do when we had to paint 75% of our house or take down a deck…all the bigger projects that are harder to schedule in the time.
So now you have packed your house and you are moving into your new one, YAY!! It is definitely bittersweet because your first home is jammed full of memories, but the wonderful thing about memories is that they come with you anywhere!
- We assigned each room a number and labeled each box with that number so the movers (my husband and our very dear, sweet, kind friend) knew where to put each box. The goal was that they would move them into each room, but the weather had other plans, so I put numbers around the empty dining room in the new house and they sorted them there.
- My type-A, OCD self has a hard time writing this, but choose a spot in your new home that you know you won’t use right off the bat. This, my friends, is where everything that doesn’t have a home will go to live until you find the said home. In our new house, this is the media room. I am ashamed to say three weeks into living in the new house, and our media room is still not a space we’ve used beyond housing the homeless things.
- Try as hard as you can not to buy things before you move in. You may think you know, but until you are really in there, you don’t.
The biggest rule of moving I have learned is to give yourself grace. Whether packing or unpacking…allow yourself time: time to physically pack/unpack, time to enjoy, time to remember, time to smile, time for all the feelings and emotions. Try as hard as you can to enjoy the process. It is daunting, the to-do lists have to-do lists, the job list will never end.
But at the end of the day, focus on the gratitude of it. Be thankful for your previous home and the love that filled those walls. Be excited for what is to come in your new home. And just try to be present and give yourself grace.